Monday, September 8, 2014

Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb

I love historical fiction.  One period of history that has always intrigued me is the French Revolution, and then the rise and fall of Napoleon.  The almost mythical love story of Josephine and Napoleon is one of the greatest love stories of all time as well as being a great historical story from one of my favorite time periods.  I admit to not knowing much about Josephine before she met Napoleon.  Therefore, I was very excited to have a chance to review Becoming Josephine, which is all about Josephine’s early life.

Rose Tascher grows up on a plantation on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean.  After the tragic death of her sister, she takes her sister’s place in an arranged marriage with Alexandre Beauharnais, son of the Marquis, by traveling to Paris.  An awkward “country girl” Rose has a hard time fitting in, particularly as her new husband tends to spend all of this time partying with other women and not introducing her to society.  Rose decides to take happiness into her own hands and learns to become a fascinating woman of society.  All of the while Rose longs for true love.  Then the terror strikes and the Beauharnais family experience a great rise as well as a great fall.  As a widow, Rose meets Napoleon Bonaparte and reinvents herself as Josephine. 

I loved Becoming Josephine.  I took it camping with us over Labor Day and had a hard time putting it down.  I read through it quickly and found myself wanting more at the end. I learned a lot about Josephine’s early life and find her rise to power very fascinating.  I also loved the love story and Josephine’s search for true love.  My only complaint is that I wish there would have been more detail on Josephine and Napoleon together and their ends.  Even more in the afterward about what happened to them would have been perfect.  I had to go online and look up what exactly happened at the end of their lives.  As this was Becoming Josephine, it made sense that the novel was primarily focused on the early years.  Maybe Heather Webb will write another novel on the later years?  I would read it!

Overall Becoming Josephine is a fascinating look into a complicated and interesting woman’s life and her search for love.  I highly recommend it!

I read this book as part of the TLC book tour.  For more information on the tour see the following:

Book Source:  TLC Book Tour / Heather Webb – Thanks!


  1. I also enjoy historical fiction, especially if it is well-researched and well-written. This sounds very engaging, Laura. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this novel.

  2. Thanks for being a part of the tour! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.